tv Tour of Simon and Schuster CSPAN July 5, 2014 8:45pm-10:01pm EDT
>> on a recent trip to new york city booktv toward the corporate headquarters a book publisher simon & schuster. while there we profiled several of the principle players responsible for the book's publication. acquisitions editing publicity and sales. we also discuss the history of simon & schuster now in its 90th year and the current health and future of the publishing industry.
the. >> who was simon & schuster? >> guest: well they were max shuster and simon and they were two gentlemen who were friends with one another and we back in 1924 they decided to start a publishing house on their own. they have been working in publishing houses but felt they could begin on themselves so they did. they set out one day and they rented a space and put up a sign that said simon & schuster publishers. >> host: would they recognize what you do today? >> guest: know i think they totally would. some of what is really interesting when you read through the history is to realize how many things go in circles and what is old becomes new again. they use as an example the reason they would recognize what we do today namely it's because the job of the publisher has not changed at all which is defined great work. depending on what kind of work
it is and then to find an audience that commits that audience to buy it. we have always been the conduit between the artist in the consumer and that has not changed at all. a lot of the ways they didn't back then are now becoming popular again. for instance they used to run an advertisement in newspapers every week called the inter-sanctum and they were very chatty in it. they would talk about why they signed up that book and why the book was great pity if you look at the ads they are incredibly similar to what's going on on line today where it's no longer just a corporate advertisement that they are that there's more personality in it. there's more of the publisher speaking to the consumer and reaching out to the consumer. that's just one small example. in addition when they started their first book it was the first crossword puzzle book. one of the aunt was in the hospital and she said we need this crossword puzzle book. crosswords are fairly new then and there never been a
collection. they did a book and they put a pencil on it and they sold it. it had a runaway success but their second book they published that became a breath -- bestseller was a history of philosophy a collection of essays i'm sorry of classes that a teacher taught. the book was a bestseller for two years so between the pure merchandise and the work of high intellectual capacity, their range is the same range as simon & schuster publishers today. president and ceo what is your job? >> guest: my job is to basically make it possible for her going off to do their jobs and to do them well so i often consider my job is to ask the people who are on the line doing the work the question they have not thought of themselves so they are competent in the decisions they are making and what they are doing. i get get involved a little bit and a lot of things. and a book that is high advance i am involved in the acquisition
by thy sword of look over what everyone is doing and offer suggestions but i'm really there as a sounding board and to make sure the things that the company provides, the publishers help them do their jobs better and help them find those audiences and communicate. >> i manage the editors and manage the publicity and the marketing, the foreign rights and oversee the birthing of the books into the world. >> host: so you have some editorial duties but also some business ideas correct? >> guest: absolutely. the idea is to publish each of these authors as successfully as they can be published. they want their books to be read by the vast multitudes so our job is to make those books known. >> host: you say you are publishing about a hundred books a geared simon & schuster is? >> guest: we are the flagship division and we are publishing actually 130 this year and it's
a kaleidoscopic range of authors. we have got literary novelist and a major new writer named matthew thomas. we have political leaders, jimmy carter, hillary clinton, james webb, john mccain. we have got notable personalities like rob lowe and diane von furstenberg and we have a lot of terrific general nonfiction, biographies of everybody from sally ride and john wayne to literary memoirs and then wonderful writer that will attract a lot of attention. >> host: so why are there different imprint at simon & schuster? among goes until bookstore on line and they will see as simon & schuster imprint but they might also see some others that are owned by simon & schuster, correct? >> guest: with the idea is you want to have people passionate
about the books and navigating the books of publishing houses are often broken down into smaller groups. within each publishing house there can be numerous imprints, numerous divisions and they are all putting their energy behind the projects that they are the most excited about. >> host: one of the big books for simon & schuster this ear is hillary clinton's new book. what is in your world in the process of getting that to the bookstore is? >> guest: hillary clinton has been a simon & schuster author for 18 years now. i guess you could say that she has been moonlighting as first later and secretary of state during those first years and our ceo acquired hillary clinton's first book a few years ago. we are publishing the hard choices on juice tent. it's our her fourth book with that and i was the editor so i was involved from the beginning of its acquisition and seeing all aspects of it working
closely with all the people at the company. >> host: as the editor is there a lot of e-mails back and forth between you and the author? is that how it's done to? >> guest: you know every case is different. in this case i try to give just as much attention to secretary clinton's book as i have two all the other authors we oppose. i should mention the same breath that we are publishing james webb a terrific united states senator and his book is out right now. i don't want to favor one author over another. >> host: at what point do u.s. publisher get involved in acquiring a book? is that your role as well? >> guest: oftentimes what happens is the editors come to me and they say they want to sign at the book and they have their justifications for doing so. it if someone wants to sign up a book and people are equally enthusiastic about it we should make an offer.
>> host: what is an advance? >> guest: in advance of the amount of money that an author receives in advance of actually publishing a book so it's what the author gets paid and that's what the author is living on while writing a book. >> host: and that's paid by simon & schuster by the publishing company? >> guest: as simon & schuster paid that money up front. >> host: and then recoups its? >> guest: that is of course the rub. we hope to recoup it. actually only a small percentage of the books turn out to be profitable and that's true in most businesses that are created so we advance the money and sometimes it comes back and sometimes it doesn't. >> host: overall how would you describe the publishing industry? >> guest: of the state of the union is strong. we are publishing successfully and publishers are doing well right now. >> host: why is that?
>> guest: because people read and they are seven i'm confident they will. obviously there are major changes going on in the industry because of the apotheosis of digital publishing but it still seems to be the case that people want to hear a story and they're willing to pay for it and as long as there are good writers who can tell those stories and a dramatic and compelling way, publishers will be fine. >> host: are at the scribes and the amazons, are they helpful to simon & schuster's business? >> guest: right now they are and the challenge is to continue to find ways to attract attention to the books. actually i'm more concerned about the fact that there is so much video-on-demand everywhere that is i think the serious form of competition for us. i hope people will want to continue to read when they can absorb information and entertainment in so many different graphical ways. >> host: so you see video as
the competition? >> guest: with you are in an airplane or train you will see people tablets and a lot of them might just as easily be watching netflix as they are reading a novel so i think, but his eyes in the case that there have been mass forms of entertainment that have been a challenge to publishing. publishing has been a fairly rare fight form of communication and i think that's still the case today. the question is whether we can make books known and have them be discovered as effectively as we have in the past when bookstores are diminished presence in the culture and people may not necessarily be as aware of new books as they were in the past. the other thing that's changed actually is when so much is available instantly very little seems to be rare or special. it used to be that when somebody wrote in a novel it was an event or when somebody released a new
album it was a major occasion. now everything is instantly available so it definitely does make it harder to get people excited about things. the good thing is that of course books are much easier to get now. distribution is omnipresent so with every disadvantage there is an advantage. >> host: what is the normal timeframe of working on a book? you hear about it. the publication date,, retracting six-month or are we talking two years? >> guest: well my opinion which i could probably be challenged on is that it's hard to write a great book in one year. i think and write a really good book in a year. i think if you are writing with a recurring character it can be done because you know the contours of the characters and the settings. i think it takes about 18 months to write a book that has passed
and has some authority to it and really outstanding books can take much longer than that. they can take many years. we published a book recently called big fat surprise which is about the history of fraud nutritional science and it's a big seller right now. that book was about 10 years in the works. where publishing rick perlstein's new book america in the 1970s the invisible bridge. it's a terrific book and that one was about five years in the works. >> host: was a scheduled for five years? >> guest: absolutely. i signed up many years ago. >> host: is on-demand printing easier today than it was 10 or 20 years ago? >> guest: about another thing. it's also true that we can make this available on demand. that's absolutely true. one of my former colleagues or random house started a company where there are on-demand printers and some of these
independent booksellers so if you want to get a book you can get it within hours if you want. publishers like simon & schuster big publishers are able to make pepper -- paperbacks available on demand relatively easily and you can have them within a couple of days. >> host: what percentage of books are physical books today as opposed to e-books? >> guest: that's a really great question. i can tell you right now in terms of the percentage of books that we sell the fiction can be 50% e-books, 50% physical books at the same title so that book is available through both of those formats. the nonfiction still skews more toward the printed physical book where we are still selling probably 70% of those books sold are the actual printed books. in terms of the number of books that are available only in the e
>> we do a lot with radio and television and there is a lot of work we do with them. we have seven adult imprints. there is actually more than that but some of them are within imprints so i don't know the actual total number and we have seven children imprints, too. the reason we have so many is because it is a group with its own publisher, publicity department and editorial department and marketing department. publishing is intensive. you have to read the book,
define what the book in order to define the audience you want to find for it. and everything about it, the design, jacket, publicity plan, whether the author goes out or doesn't, what kind of online marketing you can do -- all of those questions have to be answered by a group of people and they only have so many hours in a day and can only publish so many book as year. so you have multiple imprints so publishers are different strengths and the list form a personality of their own. gallery is our more commercial imprint and in children's too we have young adults or picture book and they have the personality of the publisher and
that means that publisher acquired that book because he or she had a vision of how to publish it. so the main thing about publishing is it is a hand-on business. it is often said the assets of a publishing house walk out because other than your contracts that is all you've -- the intelligence put to the process of finding an audience for an author. >> how do you acquire books? >> all there are a million ways. one that is not talked about is you come up with an idea and try to find the perfect writer. someone's whose passion matches yours and theas that is one way. another way is you talk to
agents as much as possible to see what kind of projects they are excited about and then you raise your hand and hope they will send you a good proposal. sometimes you cultivate arth authorers you adore. >> have you every read a newspaper article and said that could be a book? >> yes, i read an article ten years ago about how in the very shortly -- in the early 21st century, more households in america will be supported by women and that is a giant
change. it made me want to explore what the implications of that might be for men and women, marriages, raising children, for love, for courtship and i got a great book out of it. >> what was the book? >> it was called the "the richer sex". it generated -- it landed on the cover of time magazine and generated a huge conversation about all adjusting.
>> how much that club shaped the presidency himself and that gave ideas to explore the president's club in a thorough way. it is a modern idea of understanding how the president speaks. we had to get to the 21st century to have to enough longevity. they found that precedencies were made stronger, sometimes
challenged, by people inside this club. and what was interesting about it you had a dozen characters, all who had relationships with each other going toward the path and future, so the big challenge in editing this book was how to structure it. if you look at how the book is built there is an introduction to certain key partnerships along the way because it helped the reader keep track of who the characters are and helps them move along chronlogically while honoring history and the relationships as they actually happened. >> nancy gibs writes the president's club. what was your role? what part did you play in the book? >> my role was to help structure the book and give it an
architecture that makes it accessible and easy to absorb that they forget there are all of these multiple characters on the stage at once and they could see it and not feel overwhelmed by it. my role was to cut. if you are board as an editor there is a chance your readers will be. and my role was to make sure the inside knowledge was made transparent to the reader so you anyhow where things came from and how you knew them. but when you have authors as talented as nancy and michael you get up in the morning and skip to work. >> what is your editing process? what did you do when you first got the manuscript?
>> it came in sections. the first thing you do is leave the office. you cannot real do serious editing when you are in an office. you have to lock yourself somewhere else and totally emerse yourself in the book. there would be times i would leave the book and go out and get dinner and still be living in the middle of the nixon administration and i wanted to run back and get with it. that is what you want. the ability to sink into the story so you can see its beauty and occasionally make it be more beautiful. >> do you make a red pen or pencil to it? >> i take a pencil to it. it comes from my days as
newspaper and magazine editor. it allows me to give it back to them so they can look at the notes and you know absorb them as they would on their own terms. >> another author that you worked with is karl rove. did he chose you? did you chose him? how did the relationship begin? >> i had to audition for it. i got a call from my publisher and he asked me to go down to washington. it was the first book i was asked to edit. i had been a journalist for 30 years. he had read up on me and what stories i covered. we had politics in common. i had covered him as an editor for many decades.
basically my argument is you should hire me because this is my first job and i can't screw it up. and it worked. >> is it different working with a personality like that than it is maybe with nancy gibbs and michael duffy who are not as well-known? >> no, i think every writer has to put themselves on the page. the process is a process by definition that makes writers feel vulnerable and i think the job of the editor is to essentially protect them but also make them feel comfortable with what they are saying. one of the first conversations i had with karl was no, you cannot start with the book at age 30. you have to start with the pain
of your childhood including your mother's suicide, your father leaving the home, you finding out later your father wasn't your father, you learning to meet your real father. all of those issues have to be on the page as difficult as they are to talk about because they are part of watt made you you and if this is going to be a biography then it needs to include that. and he told me later that often times when he gets stopped by readers they bring up the childhood stuff because they have had experiences like his. and i can that is one way you make a personality who seems to be on stage more accessible to others >> because of your background as a journalist do you work on a
scheuster? >> we have 2 million books worldwide but if you say had average is -- we would have 8 billion we shipped and sold. >> what is the biggest retailers? >> barnes and noble and hastings and all of the independent book sellers that are doing well. >> what about the costco's and walmart and sam's club. >> i work with traditional resar resellers. >> what is your relationship? they read a book and say they
want so many copies or do you say this is going to be a big read. >> we go in with a list of suggested reading and the sales reps know the book sellers and they are great at gathering the list. so they read, excitement build and they send us quote and it starts rolling from there. that is how we get them excited about it. >> with the advent of the digital readings and the big boxes like costco is the significance of the bookstores less than it used to be? >> for the past 2-3 years the independent book seller has made it a point to address the community with the community outreach american express does and the shop local movement.
they have taught their customer if you don't support us we will not be here anymore. so they are creative in getting people in and the fact they read everything. when they recommend a book to you they know what they are talking about. they have been doing well as a channel year over year because of that. they are focused on the community. >> does the size of a retailer -- can barnes and noble affect the marketing of a book? >> absolutely. they have 680 locations and a website with millions of customers so they absolutey can. >> how did you get into the business? >> i started out of college at random house and worked in the sales department as an assistant and just kept growing from there but always in sales and the retail side of the business. >> does walter isaac or hilary
clinton automatically get orders? >> absolutely >> what kind of marketing strategy goes into selling their books? what is different? >> with walter isaacson he is his own best supporter and champion because he is such a great story-teller. so whenever we can we have him speak to customers and he has come into the offices to speak to the barnes and nobles book sellers and he is our best weapon in selling his books. >> how do you sell a first-time author to a book seller? >> it is all in the read. the package plays a big part. they look at it, if is the package that will jump off the shelf and they think their customer will respond to it that play as big part as well as the marketing and what kind of
reviews and if the author is touring that helps >> what percentage of revenue come from digital as opposed -- >> it depends on -- it is approximately 28-30 percent. on individual titles it can be as high as 70 percent or as low as 20 percent. so the figures don't give a true picture of the way genres and writing have moved into the digital world and others don't. >> what are the 70%? >> commercial fiction is a majority of sales but it can be literary novels. fiction is more highly digital. it can be a literary novel
because you read a review and say i would like to read that. it is easy to buy it and you don't have to do anything to buy it. we have found commercial and also memoir and i believe that is because it reads like fiction in that it is linear, you start at the beginning and there is not a lot of referring back. the ones least digital other than children's books and cook books are serious non-fiction. and i think it is because it is -- i have read articles about when you read you will remember something and want to go back and you remember it is the bottom of the left hand passenger or the top and you cannot do that digitally. so it is much more difficult to do digitally. anything linear seems to be the things that have the highest digital sales. >> i am vice president and
digital design content. we design the interiors for adult book and make e-books. >> what do you mean the interiors? >> just the inside. >> and do you pick the font and the pictures? >> we chose the fonts. we work with art from the authors and sometimes create work for the authors. we do the layout and there is more than you would think. i started with digital and have taken over the print work. there is a lot more involved than you would think. >> why does it matter what the font is? >> readability. how heavy the font is effects how well you can read it. it con voys the mood of the boc
more than you would think. it seems like they are saying this tiny little think there is a sarious on the a but not on the b. and when good get on my i-pad i change the font and when you read it in print it make as difference. >> can you translate a hard cover book into digital? or do a lot of changes happen? >> you can do a one-to-one design transition. but we don't necessarily make an e-book as by-product. we think of it from the beginning how the product will work in digital and print f format. >> give us an example of a print
and e-book. >> let's say we are making both. your print book, if is a simple novel, it will look like the e-book. and the e-book changes depending on where you read it. i am sure you read all of your books in e, you will see one thing on kindel and another on nook and another on i-book. on nook it opens to the publisher setting or the last user settings. so if you set it to size 10 with the margins this book that is what it is going to look like when you open it. if you open it is i-book it is publisher settings so whatever margin and spacing we chose. those are some of the differences. >> do the covers change?
>> no. >> you keep the same cover? >> we usually keep the same cover unless the print is stickered with a price or anything else you might not want to put on the e-books. >> is your background in publishing or design? >> it is in publishing specifically digital books >> how did you get started ibin that? >> i focused on computer l literate studies so an e-book. instead of using the human subjefsu subjective analysis you get a computer-aided analysis and that is looking at word usage across a body of work so whether the author is e-corpus and we pulled
books we tagged online and who knew that skill would every be useful. but they were looking for people that knew how to code-x and they hired me as a temporary employee and there were not a lot of people who knew how to make e-books at the time. >> how is the sophistication of developing e-books changed over the years? >> ten years there were people like star war fans reading and now people like you read. so instead of making something that works for a person that is happy to have it on an electronic device we have greater demands and higher design and allow people to feel like they got the product they paid for. so things like including fonts,
adjusting margins -- that is all new to e-book readings systems and some are still more capable than others. >> we have been talking to several people today and one of the themes we have had is about "hard choices" hilary clinton's book. have you had input on that book? if so, how is the marketing and development different from your digital side than the physical side? >> sure. when we acquired that book jonathan carp knocked and asked if there was anything we could do for the e-book specifically and we brain stormed ideas and talked about when the right time to act on those ideas would be. we have been thinking of it as a digital product from the beginning. is the marketing different?
you would have to ask the sales team but as far as making the book we take just as much care with that. >> can you add more pictures or context on the e-book? >> we do to many of the books. photos that are online and grouped in the insert for print and that makes sense. and we will add photos in color even if they are black and white. we will add extra material often a reading group guide or a sneak peek at the next book. >> once a book is finished how quickly can it be published digitally >> what do you mean by finished? >> manuscript is done. >> that is not a stage we think of the manuscript being in -- done. just like any print book we are designing the book. if it is e-book only, no print
counter part, we are going to design it like we would the print, copy edit it, go through query stages because we care about it just the same as if it were printed and then we can publish it quickly because we are not worried about printing time. so we are looking at a day? if we had a finished manuscript we could publish an e-book in a day. we had one such instance since 2007 and people started caring about e-books. jennifer winer had a halloween story she wanted and i think it took about 48 hours from the finished manuscript to publish. she sent the team cupcakes.
>> do you foresee more and more books being published only di t digitally? >> yeah, if you look at our books we have a lot of e-book only. we do a lot of romance and will do more science fiction in that area. many of those books end up being printed later so you get to test the market with the e-book, lower barrier to enter >> how did you get started in this business? >> i came to new york -- >> from where? >> i wanted to be a college professor but i got married and came to new york was my husband was going to columbia and i was a good typist and had a friend who worked in publishing and said i will try that until i go back to teaching. but i fell in love and stayed
with it. >> where did you grow up? >> silver springs, maryland. outside of washington, d.c. >> where did you go to school? >> middle bury college and then indiana university. >> you are not from new york in the new york publishing world -- is that an anomaly? >> there are a number of people who were born and raised in new york who are in the business now that i think about it. but i think there is probably an equal number, if not more, that came from other places. people are largely attracted to publishing because they themselves had a love of book and knew they were not a writer. i think my experience is not unusual that i got into the business and then i just fell in love with it. and part of the reason is that even at a low level beginning
job you can be given responsibility that has an affect on how a book sells. i would feel i had an effect on how the book sold. there is always more much work than can be done by everybody working day and night. >> i am the executive art director. >> what does that mean? >> i oversee and design the imprints and there are many different ones. >> there is all different art director for those and i solely do simon. >> you do the cover of books? >> yeah. >> what goes into a cover of a book? >> well the first thing when we hear about this project usually
from the editor we find out what the book is about. there is a manuscript or sometimes there is not. sometimes there is a little bit to read and you get a flavor of what the voice of the author is. from that we have a discussion with the editor and publisher and the author to find out if they have preconceived notions of what they are looking for. it is always good to have that. even if they don't, you get a sense of their liking and you can see what the competition is like, what the books are going to be facing in that book shelf space that is limited. >> i want to start with this. this is former senator james web -- "i heard my country calling" how did this cover develop?
>> this one was actually pretty straightforward in that it is a story of his and his father's years in war. and he had these photographs and so we knew we wanted to narrow them together to make sure they go together. >> what went into your new madison book? >> it is madison so kind of called for having his photo on it.
we worked out nicely and we had five beautiful portraits of the five people that mattered. >> one of the other books you worked on was the bully pulpit. we all know what the cover looks like. here is the cover of the book. and that is a finished product. when we first learn about a book and do exploring of the photographs out there there were great of the two of them together and we thought it was a great opportunity to design something. when we started to look at it, it didn't have the big look that we wanted. the epic feel. and you see that type has that
historical feel and we started to think maybe it needed to look classic. so we tried different fonts, tried adding a little color, and so that is how we ended up. >> did dorris goodwin have any say in the cover? do the authors get to say yay or nay? >> both do. it is their baby. they are going to go out on the road selling the books so you want them to be happy. when they are it is wonderful and they are very appreciative. it is a little give and take with dorris. she didn't want her name on the top but on the bottom and wanted to see more of the faces. so we played with that a little
bit. >> do color schemes come in and out of fashion as well? >> sure. sure. you know sometimes even fashion itself, the hot color of what is on the run ways can effect what is on a book cover. but, yeah, definitely, obviously i think red is always a sure shot. it has been known that green not necessarily unless you are book about golf and money, finance book. i think blue sells really well. >> well, senator mccain has new book coming out and here is a cover you are working on. >> that is a work in progress because we are reworking it. a couple retailers said they wanted to see a more classic,
photographical treatment. so we do get feedback like that from places like barnes and nobles and sam's and costco when they feel something isn't quite to their market. >> so you respond to that as well? >> absolutely. and sometimes we don't change it and sometimes we do. it is up to the publisher's decision to make that kind of decision. >> is there a cover -- is there artwork in a book you are ext m extremly proud of? >> i think the steve jobs book was one i thought was striking. we worked with the author on the hardcover. >> which is an older photo?
>> yes, it is classic. we were lucky when we went to paperback that i guess mr. jobs likes the pose because it was the same pose done 30 years ago. so people who brought the cover wanted to have a collectors item of the paperback. >> and why black, white and gray? >> you know, that just happened -- it has to do with the photograph. and that is really -- it isn't a conscious decision. it is just when you have a fantastic photo you let that shine. >> jimmy carter "call to action" his most recent book. >> it is very serious. he takes it much to heart. this book came about quickly. it is his passion about women's
rights. and so we needed to be very straightforward and nothing that is embellished. it is a hard subject matter. the blue color is done to soften the tone. >> have there ever been a time when a book is going to print and for whatever reason the cover has to be changed? >> oh, yeah, i am running a blank but yes, absolutely. that happens but usually it isn't quite so right at the point that it is going to the printer. and it could be feedback from the retailers or there is another cover out that has the exact same photograph or very similar. we didn't realize we needed to
change. >> we have been innovative through the industry. we shipped books to bookstores and they could ship them back and never pay for them if they didn't sell them and that was done during the depression because of the idea that bookstores couldn't afford to take in stock and assume they were going to sell it. that truly transformed industry and there have been things like that and we have been at the forefront in history. one of the most major things they ever did was 75 years ago it created pocket books which were the first u.s. mass market publisher. they started with ten books, charged 25 cents a piece, and created a whole industry that really ruled the country for decades. it is now -- with the invent of digital, mass market has been decreasing. but for years you used to
sell -- when i started 20 years ago, we told ten mass markets for ever one hard copy book. so the market was huge. then the hard cover publishers got wise and started copying what they were doing and hard cover started increasing. but mass market is still the way to reach -- it is now tied with digit digital -- but it is a way to put a lot of books in someone's hands for a good price. >> what is the media process like? >> there are top down campaigns like hilary clinton's which begin with national media and breakout from there. a few big hits generate a number of things that sort of create themselves. then there is bottom up and the
majority of the books we publish are bottom up and that means we begin with public radio and interviews on booktv if we are lucky enough and from there things expand and create opportunities on national media we might not have had out of the gate once we reach a concern threshold or buzz. you cannot predict it but you can create it. >> our print reviews important? >> they are. but many people will tell you they don't have the same impact they once did. while we still rely on our friends at the times, the post, wall street journal and other p publications we now find you need a congestion of reviews to happen at one time for books to
penetrate. one review won't make the impact it did as recently as 5-10 years ago. our goal, like the old business rule of three, you see something three times you remember it and now it is more like nine. >> why is that? why has it changed? >> people are distracted and spend a lot of time online and i don't think people read as long or carefully as they once did. so it is important we have many review and maybe at the end of the campaign what drives somebody to purchase a book is the fact they are turning around and everywhere they look and see something about this book and they don't know if it is good or bad but people are talking about. and that is the goal to make sure people know about the books we are talking about. >> does three minutes with robin sell a book? >> of course. three minutes with public radio. three minutes for any book is
treasured. >> not all authors are as c coveted for interviews. how do you cultivate that? >> we have a feel for where different readers are and sometimes there are multiple readerships of a book. we might start with a review campaign or target certainly regional radio if the book covers a part of the industry. we try build a specific campaign and unique campaign as we can. there are things that are fundamental and everything will be published by the new york times or the trade publications so that book sellers are aware or post quotes on amazon.com and other online partners.
those are common to everything we publish. and from there we begin to focus on specific goals. and those goals are said as we said at the top as early as the time of publications and they may shift and we might not get as much attraction in the way we thought and we might shift the way we talk about the book because we realize it is this aspect and not that that people are keying in on and we will ad just. >> a lot of people look and research for books online. what is the important of reviews on amazon and getting information online about authors. >> our focus is on the media outlets more than the customer relations on amazon and things. we place great weight on online media. there are certain kinds of
online media that function very much like any print publication. slate for instance is treated like the "washington post" or new york times. then there are blogs or people and we have different people inhouse that focus on different online voices. they matter and they matter because they are part of social networks and they can go viral and they are people looking at publications we may not notice. so i am i am focused on the bigger publications. >> are the outlets that you can go to getting fewer and fewer? >> it seems sometimes like it is more and more and that can be
overwhelming. i know i tend to focus on few and well. few and well i think is a better strategy than more and poorly for any book. but you know we have a very big group here and we can divide up responsibilities to cover our tracks. there might be hundred people reading a blog i haven't heard of but they might be hundred book buyers and that can more impactful than a bad review. >> how is social media part of the campaign to sell books? >> it is a huge part. we have a rebuff social media program. but we think of it in terms of the author's social media presence and what they can do to connect with readers.
this isn't about our media voice as much as it is now almost equally important direct consumer relationships and that is more effectively managed by an author than us and if i tell you as the publisher you should buy something you might be unsure but if you have a personal relationship with the author that might be mean more. >> author tour sells books? >> depends on the author. i think there is no reward in sending an author to a bookstore where five or ten people come. as much as they might value the time together the expense might outweigh the rewards. but there are authors that travel and that depends on if we can get local media, if the
author has an audience in the area that we can count on to show up. it isn't, which is the implication of your question, it isn't as common to travel as it was a few years ago. >> what is your background in publishing? >> i started as an intern in fsg in the winter of '96. >> why? >> because there was an opportunity and it was a house where a friend of mine had done an internship. it was a house i didn't know much about but was publishing a number of poets i had studied in school. a position opened up in sales that i took just because it was there. and three weeks later a job opened in publicity and i was
li li like i think i would like that. and then i went to barnes and nobles for two years on the edit editoral side and then to the academy of national poets for a year and found my way back in 2002 and stayed until 2006 at which time i left to join jonathan carp, current president and publisher of simon, to launch print 12 where i was the associate publisher and then publisher and then came to sns. and now i am wearing to hats here. the publicity and editorial hat. >> who are some of the authors you have worked with?
>> christopher hitchins. ted kennedy's memoir. a number of fiction writers. and then the s and s list when you talk about non-fiction there are a few publishers who can boast a list. walter isaacson, bob woodward and the list of non-fiction writers on the catalog is mind-blowing. >> do authors like doing publicity? >> some more than others. some are better at it than others. some come to play. some come to work. we figure out what somebody's needs are and adjust. it is the most fun when someone comes to play and as humor about
it. then we can have fun. someone asked how to do publicity for man like christopher hitchinson and i said you get out of his way. >> how would you describe the health of the publishing industry today? >> i think it is in better health than it has been for a while. when digital publishing came into the world there was a certain amount of fear and trepidation of what was going to happen but it added energy and capabilities. i talked about the advertising thing but dick simon and matt used to chat with consumers and now we can agree to go back and get e-mails and form a conversation and community. and that is a watershed change to no longer through a third party, which was the retailer, but to be able to communicate
directly and constantly with consumers interested in our product is great. i think the digital transformation has actually -- now that we have enough to feel we can respond to it and maintain businesses in the face of it, i think it has given a whole new energy to publishing. >> my role is with the clinton title has been to work on the marketing side of that which has involved, you know, a website for the book dedicate today the book, a facebook page, production videos, the release of content on the web. my role up to now has been the digital marketing role in this particular title. it has been a fun one because so many people are watching and care. we toil away to make a lot of videos of writers and we don't have many that go up on the home
page of aol on the day we hand it over or yahoo picks up instantly and puts on a major page. that has been my role; working on the consumer parts. >> do you find some authors are more willing to make videos and promotions than others? >> sure. sure. it is a different skillset than writing. you are a solitary person who sits at a computer or notepad and then suddenly you are asked to perform which is an external thing. some authors are stilled and some are not. some are good on twitter, some good an camera, some much better on facebook or instagram in terms of minding a way they can
share their work with the readership and connect with that readership. >> how important is your efforts in marketing are facebook, twitter, instagram? >> it has been the biggest change in the course of my career. when i started in publishing most of marketing was trade marketing. we were working with the major retail retailers and the small independent shops to convince them to take the shop and display the retail shelf space or mostly about it with advertising things thrown in. with social media we can connect the final consumer to the book we are selling. facebook and twitter allowed us to do that in an affordable way. before direct to consumer marketing was print, broadcast and advertising and that was so expensive it was prohibited.
but social media is not free because time is worth something but other than that resource we can get on social media and connect the writer to the reader so it is exciting. >> richard, every publisher has a backlist. how does that come into play as far as marketing? >> well you asked earlier about digit digital, and we are working to promote that and within the e-books week put links to preorder to new books. that has been a great thing with e-book and with that has been the transition or the loss of shelf space so you know as
bookstores have contracted and the market is changing and evolving but feckless is important economically and as a way for readerships to grow overtime. >> how many projects are you working on? >> we publish 120 new titles a year and about 80 paperback conversi conversions or reprints so in a year about 200 books in this group here. so i figured it out to every one and a half work day we publish a book. so it is quite a lot to keep up with. >> in ten years, is the publishing world going to look different than it would today? >> it will have to look different because there are so many different forces that are changing it. the fact that what we do is help authors create the best work
they can and introduce it to the public will be the core of the business. ... a short piece they can delete on a screen very easily so there is competition definitely and so will have to change in certain ways in order to make sure we still can take that work and convince people they should be reading it.
this week's matt kibbe and his latest book "don't hurt people and don't take their stuff" a libertarian manifesto. and that the freedom works president argues that politicians and corporate leaders have been steadily eroding constitutional rights for decades. the tea party proponent presents his plan to restore individual freedoms. this program is about an hour.
>> host: so matt, you call your book a libertarian manifesto. explain what libertarianism is, specifically how relates to conservatism. >> guest: i think there's a lot of misunderstanding about that now and we have debated with a publisher whether or not to put the al word on the cover but so many people are asking the question now what is a libertarian and there's this argument supposedly between libertarians and conservatives and neocons and tea partiers and fill in the blank. i don't think there is a fundamental difference if you understand conservatism properly defined. there is a fundamental difference between what i call big government conservatism, the idea that you take power of the state and impose a certain of behaviors on people either subsidize them or punish them. that sounds a lot like progressivism to me and i think the real political spectrum